Another dumb question post..

Junior M

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
South Carolina
So I am back cutting grass and doing landscaping with the guy I worked for last summer.. Me and that new job planting trees fell apart, the guy and me had a heated discussion and I walked off.. Anyways..

I've decided to start taking night classes in the fall and pursue either a construction management degree or something along the civil engineering lines..

But my question is, how did yall get started in the industry? What gave yall the boost to get out on your own and start your own business?

I've already got an idea of the type of work to pursue, but I dont know how to go about getting started..
 

jbrockmann

LawnSite Member
Location
St. Louis, MO
Junior,
Here's how I ended up where I am...
High school, then didn't know what I wanted to do. Couldn't decide on what college to attend so ended up at juco for 2 years. Was having fun, so then went on to attend another three years at MU (oops only supposed to take 2 years). Ended up with a degree in agribusiness management of all things. Tried to sit behind a computer for the next year and half with a "real" job. Retired to join my pop who was self employed and had enough business (plumbing) to keep us busy. Have done that for the past 10+ years. Business got a bit slow and I wanted to stay busy so I've been trying to add a couple days a month of work in the mini excavating business. Our equipment was sitting idle so might as well try and make use instead of bitching about bad economy. So far, it's been decent. It's always nice to do different jobs so you don't get bored or burned out.

End of story - who knows where you'll end up or how. Just enjoy getting there. BUT - It never hurts to have that degree to fall back on! :drinkup:
My three cents.
 

AWJ Services

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
Ga
Junior,
Here's how I ended up where I am...
High school, then didn't know what I wanted to do. Couldn't decide on what college to attend so ended up at juco for 2 years. Was having fun, so then went on to attend another three years at MU (oops only supposed to take 2 years). Ended up with a degree in agribusiness management of all things. Tried to sit behind a computer for the next year and half with a "real" job. Retired to join my pop who was self employed and had enough business (plumbing) to keep us busy. Have done that for the past 10+ years. Business got a bit slow and I wanted to stay busy so I've been trying to add a couple days a month of work in the mini excavating business. Our equipment was sitting idle so might as well try and make use instead of bitching about bad economy. So far, it's been decent. It's always nice to do different jobs so you don't get bored or burned out.

End of story - who knows where you'll end up or how. Just enjoy getting there. BUT - It never hurts to have that degree to fall back on! :drinkup:
My three cents.


Some of the best advice ever posted on here.!
 

THEGOLDPRO

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
CONNECTICUT
But my question is, how did yall get started in the industry? What gave yall the boost to get out on your own and start your own business?
I was sick of working for 10 bucks an hour.
 

anthonyp

LawnSite Member
Location
charleston s c
Junior----I`v followed you and Dirtman etc for a long time now.....What I have learned during my life, is that when I have done something, I `learn`when I have made a mistake....For some reason I am not the studious kind, but the learning process takes place `for me` after I have made the mistake.....

The important thing is to do `something`and then when you think maybe it was a mistake ,appreciate yourself, and as you are changing, to rectify the mistake, learn. There is nothing wrong taking a few courses in school to give yourself some time to experience `life`..Just don`t copout ....Tony
 

Pressedun

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Apex, NC
I was sick of working for 10 bucks an hour.
That was pretty much why I did too, worked for 6 years as a manager at a small lawn care company making $15 an hour. Saw the mistakes first hand that my boss was making and decided to venture out on my own instead of making him tons and tons of dough. 2 years later and I'm loving it, sure it sucks sometimes but at least I'm the boss!
Posted via Mobile Device
 

SunriseGardens

LawnSite Member
Location
Darien, WI
I worked for a farmer for 7 summers in high school and some college, went to college for architecture, after 1.5 yrs decided that I hated it, moved into Horticulture/ Landscape design and loved it. Graduated, started my own company at 22 built a sweet sunken garden, didn't know how much to charge, 1st company failed, 30k in debt. Worked as a foreman for several high end installation companies. Then I got a job as a designer but I had to move 3 states away. After two years moved to another company to be a head designer, worked there for 4 years, learned estimating and paperwork inside and out, then in 2009 when the bottom fell out of the economy I started my own. I didn't take out any loans, only bought stuff if I had the cash (except my tl130) but I paid off half of it when I got it.

Anyway my point is, if you decide that landscaping is the field that you want to be in, then start with a degree 2yr landscape design is fine, and don't be afraid to move for that next job. I started in the middle of Nebraska (no landscaping opportunity) and ended up in Southern Wisconsin (lots of landscaping opportunity), also, work for as many different companies as you can, and learn different things at each of them. Eventually you will want to get into the office and learn bidding and estimating, that is key in construction. my 2 cents

Adam
 

YellowDogSVC

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
TX
I found a need and filled it.

Made sure I was working for God on every job. It took a long time to realize that nothing will be perfect but I keep trying. I did the college thing and ended up with a bachelor of science in management. I manage myself which is probably the toughest job in the world and nothing in my text books prepared me for that especially as I've matured and started to develop other passions in life. Nothing should be permanent and I'd recommend staying open to what pulls you in the future. What may be your calling or passion now may change someday..be flexible but start somewhere where you enjoy what you are doing. The money will come later if you follow sound business principles and fill that need.

I don't believe that you can get started just for the money at the end of the job and be happy in 5 years. You have to have a passion that smolders at first then burns until you engage it. You have to be willing to learn something new every day and learn to eat humble pie because a lot of days will serve up big pieces of that.
When those four things are part of your everyday routine, you will be well on your way to success. As a human with a brain, you will be able to build upon your failures and your successes. It's up to the guy in the mirror what you want to be when you grow up because he's the only one you have to convince. My advice is to look up once in a while and ask for guidance and then listen quietly... it'll come.
 

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